ADAM ANSELL’S TOP 25 FOR TEXAS
1. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth led a race-high 202 laps and finished in second last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. In 22 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Kenseth has two wins (2002, 2011), 12 Top 5s and 15 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 8.5. He finished 12th back in the Spring race. He’s led at least one lap in five of his last six starts. He’s qualified fourth-or-better six times. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Kenseth leads all competitors in Driver Rating (106.5), Average Running Position (9.3), Laps in the Top 15 (4,497) and Average Green Flag Speed (173.225 mph). He’s logged a Top 5 in five of his last six TMS starts with an Average Finish of 4.7. Kenseth is now tied for the championship lead and is the quintessential top Fantasy play across all formats at arguably his best track.
2. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson posted 123 laps led in a fifth-place finish a week ago at MS. In 20 Texas starts, Johnson has two wins (2007, 2012), nine Top 5s, 15 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 9.1. He started seventh and finished sixth in the April event. He led 156 (April 2012) and 168 laps (November 2012) in his Texas starts last season. Johnson ranks second in DR (103.8) and third in ARP (10.9). Texas isn’t one of Johnson’s best tracks, but he’s in a dogfight for the championship and is a near guarantee to be competitive. Fantasy owners that still have Johnson Tiered/Grouping format starts remaining, now is the time to use it.
3. Jeff Gordon: Gordon finally won a 2013 race, leading 78 laps at Martinsville. In 25 starts at Texas, Gordon has one win (2009), eight Top 5s, 11 Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 17.0. He led 15 laps before ultimately finishing 38th in the April event. He led two laps in his fourth-place finish in the April 2012 race. Gordon ranks ninth in DR (92.3) and 10th in ARP (13.3). Fantasy owners looking for alternative to the top two drivers on this list need not look further than the No. 24.
4. Kyle Busch: Busch started third and led 12 laps en route to a 15th-place finish at The Paper Clip. In 16 starts at TMS, Busch has one win (2013), six Top 5s, seven Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 14.1. He absolutely dominated the April race, starting from the pole and leading 171 laps en route to an easy win. Busch ranks fourth in DR (101.5) and in ARP (11.2). He remains an every staple in Tiered/Grouping format lineups.
5. Greg Biffle: Biffle had a better car last weekend than his ninth-place finish at Martinsville indicates, but that won’t help Fantasy owners. In 19 starts at Texas, Biffle has two wins (2005, 2012), eight Top 5s, 12 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 15.3. He started 35th and finished fourth with a plus-31 place-differential in the Spring event. In his April 2012 victory, he led 90 laps. He’s led at least seven laps in five of his last seven starts. Biffle ranks third in DR (102.7) and seventh in ARP (12.3). He leads all drivers in Laps Led (732) and Fastest Laps Run (458). Texas is one of his better tracks and he’s currently running well, making him a must-start in Tiered/Grouping formats.
6. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished sixth last week at MS. In 21 TMS starts, Harvick has three Top 5s and 10 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 12.5. He started 29th and finished 13th in the April race. He’s led at least one lap in just four starts at the site. Harvick ranks 14th in DR (84.7) and 15th in ARP (15.2). At this point Fantasy owners looking for a safe alternative to the top options can trust the No. 29 in all formats.
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior posted an eighth-place finish a week ago at Martinsville. In 22 TMS appearances, Earnhardt Jr. has one win (2000), three Top 5s, 12 Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 14.3. He finished a disappointing 26th back in April at TMS. He’s led at least one lap in 12 starts. Earnhardt Jr. ranks eighth in DR (92.6) and sixth in ARP (11.9). He leads all drivers in Quality Passes (707). Prior to April’s ugly finish, he logged four consecutive Top 10s at Texas (Average Finish of 8.3). He’s a safe bet for another Top 10 finish this weekend.
8. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer led 60 laps in a third-place performance a week ago at MS. In 15 starts at Texas, Bowyer has three Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 12.9. He posted a 15th-place finish in the April race. He led 44 laps in the Spring 2011 event. Bowyer ranks 10th in DR (92.0) and in ARP (12.8). He’s been a consistent finisher all season long and remains a quality option in all formats.
9. Carl Edwards: Edwards finished 12th at Martinsville. In 17 TMS starts, Edwards has three wins (2005, 2008 sweep), six Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.1. He came in third-place in the Spring event. He’s led at least three laps in two of his last five starts. Edwards ranks sixth in DR (98.1) and fifth in ARP (11.9). He hasn’t been a very sexy pick but has been fairly consistent as of late. Combine that with his stellar history at Texas and Edwards makes a fine Tiered/Grouping format option.
10. Kasey Kahne: Kahne posted a 27th-place finish at Martinsville. In 18 starts at TMS, Kahne has one win (2006), four Top 5s, five Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 18.7. He finished 11th in the Sprint event. He led five laps in the November 2011 race. Kahne ranks 15th in DR (83.2) and 16th in ARP (15.4). Despite his cold performances in the Chase, Kahne is very proficient on 1.5-mile intermediate tracks. Consider him a sneaky start in Tiered/Grouping formats.
11. Kurt Busch: One win (2009), three Top 5s and 12 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.2 in 21 starts at TMS. 89.0 DR.
12. Brad Keselowski: One Top 5 and two Top 10s with an Average Finish of 21.3 in 10 appearances at Texas. 71.0 DR.
13. Denny Hamlin: Two wins (2010 sweep), five Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 10.9 in 15 starts at the site. 93.3 DR.
14. Ryan Newman: One win (2003), three Top 5s, four Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 19.8 in 20 Texas starts. 71.4 DR.
15. Joey Logano: Two Top 10s with an Average Finish of 21.7 in 10 starts at Texas. 67.4 DR.
16. Martin Truex Jr.: 89.0 DR.
17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 45.7.
18. Juan Pablo Montoya: 73.1.
19. Mark Martin: 87.8.
20. Paul Menard: 68.5.
21. Aric Almirola
22. Jamie McMurray
23. Marcos Ambrose
24. Jeff Burton
25. Bobby Labonte
1. Austin Dillon
2. Kyle Larson
3. Trevor Bayne
4. Elliott Sadler
5. Cole Whitt
2013 NASCAR.com Fantasy Live Lineup for Texas (Salary Cap)
Jimmie Johnson $28.25
Matt Kenseth $27.75
Kurt Busch $19.75
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $13.25
David Ragan $10.50